Study: Politicians and CEOs Have Fewer Kindness Genes

…When they act like a-holes, they aren’t acting


Kindness really is something you’re born with, according to a new study from the Brookings Institute. The think-tank’s researchers found lower levels of the newly discovered Kindness Gene in those who profit from the suffering of others and higher levels of the so-called Schadenfreude Gene.

The Brookings/UN/Vivid Kindness Study found the Kindness Gene variation in just 12 percent of corporate executives, billionaires, politicians and violent prison inmates. That compares with 48 percent for all human beings subjected to genome mapping.

The same group tested positive for the Schadenfreude Gene variation 68 percent of the time, compared with just 8 percent of the human race. Schadenfreude is a German term for taking pleasure in the suffering of others.

“This study confirms what many people have long suspected, which is that there really are evil sonsabitches in the world who are predisposed to antisocial behavior,” said Brookings Institute Fellow Martha Ross. “Our data shows that these predators tend to gravitate to areas that reward antisocial behavior. Like politics, military interrogation, crime, and corporate boardrooms.”

The nonpartisan think-tank’s study was jointly funded by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and The Vivid Entertainment Group. Its findings were based on interviews and gene sequencing data gathered from 50,000 participants around the world in 2019.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.S. President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were among the 70 national leaders who consented to DNA sequencing. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman refused.

Trump was among 50 national leaders who tested positive for the Schadenfreude Gene  – which works out to roughly 71 percent of the study’s political cohort. 

Only 10 members of the political cohort tested positive for the Kindness Gene.

Merkel and Trudeau were the only ones to both test positive for Kindness and negative for Schadenfreude. 

To summarize, politicians are a lot less likely to want to help their fellow human beings than the masses, according to the study. They’re also far more inclined to prey upon those who put them in elected office.

“No surprises here,” said DNA pioneer Tomas Robert Lindahl, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2015. “We found a strong correlation between human perception of a-holes and the presence of the schadenfreude genetic trigger. Our findings suggest that people who are widely perceived to be acting like a-holes, like Trump and his supporters, aren’t acting.”

Trump questioned the test’s accuracy within minutes of the public release of its results Tuesday morning.

“Fake Science,” tweeted the leader of the world’s most powerful nation. “My gnome is perfect.”

The word “genome” is the scientific term for the genetic material in the human body that contains Deoxyribonucleic acid. This “DNA” molecule carries genetic instructions for human development, functioning, growth and reproduction.

The word “gnome” refers to a legendary dwarvish creature, which is sometimes used as a ceramic garden ornament.

Presidential Liar For-Hire KellyAnne Conway (above right) cautioned the White House Press Corps against assuming The Dotard President was referring to the former, noting that he’s been exhibiting signs of the early onset of dementia since he was a toddler.

“POTUS has a lawn gnome named Sebastian, which he’s quite proud of,” Conway said. “Gnome is also the president’s nickname for his penis.”

Over time, gene variants that allow their owners to procreate more successfully tend to become more common due to natural selection.

The results for the business executives who participated in The Brookings/UN/Vivid Kindness Study mirrored those of the politicians.

The 70 member business cohort included Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Apple CEO Tim Cook. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Leon Black, head of the Apollo Global Management vulture firm, declined to participate.

Bezos and Cook were among the 68 CEOs who tested positive for the Schadenfreude Gene. Only four were positive for the Kindness Gene.

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett was the only executive to test negative for Schadenfreude and positive for Kindness. The combination is present in 38 percent of the human race and is th eone most closely associated with basic human decency.

The 89-year-old billionaire celebrated the distinction with a high-spirited reply to Trump’s tweet, in which he paraphrased a line from the iconic rap song “Nothing but a G thang.”

“It’s like this and like that and like this Donald,” Buffett tweeted. “It’s like that and like this and like that Donald.”

The Brookings/UN/Vivid Kindness Study has a margin for error of 66.7 percent.

Its most surprising discovery was a previously unknown subset of predators with an altruistic bent, according to Ross. The Brookings/UN/Vivid Study labelled them “Alpha-Predators.”

The 23 participants identified as Alphas were mostly fraud investigators, police, investigative journalists  and whistleblowers. They include investigative journalists Barbara Ehrenreich and Jeremy Scahill; Rage Against the Machine bassist Tom Morello; and federal whistleblowers John  Bolton and Edward Snowden.

The quality that distinguishes Alphas from other predators is their disdain for easy prey. They apparently prefer to target other predators, instead of the general population.

The Alphas test positive for both the Kindness and Schadenfreude genes.

“The behavior of this predatory subset is akin to that of the Great Pyrenees dog breed (right),” said Ross. “Which is renown for sleeping among the sheep it protects in order to prey upon the wolves targeting them.”

Click here for the complete data set of The Brookings/UN/Vivid Kindness Study.


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